Jan 2, 2013 12:28 PM by NBC News
Smokers who need bypass surgery may have to quit for at least a year before they have a good chance at a successful procedure.
Researchers in China looked at the outcomes of more than 200 elective bypass surgeries.
They found heavy smokers had more damaging enzymes in the leg veins used to replace diseased heart arteries.
Levels of these enzymes went down after smokers quit, but they still had not returned to normal a year after kicking the habit.
More than 350 million people in China smoke.
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